Undersigning Attorney Agreement Abroad

Undersigning an attorney agreement which was drafted in another country equals to the situation when an official document is to be used abroad.

If someone resides in a different country than the attorney whom he wishes to sign an attorney agreement with, he can also do it in the country of residence, given the condition that it occurs before a public notary.

The use of such documents abroad only constitutes as an official notarial act though, if it is followed by diplomatic or consular certification. To abolish this requirement which can prolong the process, a Convention was approved in Hague, on 5th October 1961 on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. This Convention gives the possibility for all signing states to accept notarial acts with a certification clause („Apostille”) attached to it.

Article 4 stipulates that the Apostille can be placed on the document itself or on an „allonge”, that is, an additional paper attached to the document. It can be drafted in the language the competent authority uses as an official language or it can be issued in a second language as well, the relevant factor is the word Apostille has to be indicated in the document in order for it to be valid.

Furthermore, Article 6 of the Convention determines that each Contracting State has the right to designate the authorities who are competent to issue the Apostille certificate, by reference to their official function. In Hungary – when it comes to notarial acts – this authority is the Hungarian National Notarial Chamber.

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